12/10/2015

Norman Rockwell Doesn't Exist for Many



Norman Rockwell pictures always seem to depict the perfect Christmas.  I wonder how many families in America actually have a nuclear family, children living with their biological parents. With a divorce rate of 50% or more, half of the homes do not.  That means, Christmas trees are surrounded with children with one parent and a step-parent or a single parent sharing both duties.



It is hard to see and hear about huge families all gathered sharing memories year after year and not have those traditions within your own family.  But having
others take the time to include those less fortunate in your Christmas is really
what the season is all about. The three wise men traveled quite far to visit a newborn baby just to present him with presents.  Take the time to invite someone who might not have a family to spend the holidays with this season to your home, to your family celebration.

When I look back at the memories I have had with my children, pre-divorce, it was a great deal easier to celebrate. Not having to split children between two families on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day was less stressful.  For the children, having both parents present I am certain Christmas morning was more exciting than having one parent there.  

Luckily my ex coordinated gift-buying with me so we did not double up on gifts.  It still was a strain and meant, many holidays it was anything but ‘normal’ after the first several years.  There were step-parents to deal with, who never feel quite the same about the kids, more family get-togethers to go to which is not always fun when kids turn into teens. 

As my children turned to adults and had children, the clock seemed to turn back. I saw them return to babes again, sitting back and seeing reminders right before my eyes.  Grandchildren full of wonder at Christmas lights, ripping open presents when they were large enough to understand what to do with a gift, and fearing Santa but wanted to give him their wish list! 

But, much as I and many want that Norman Rockwell Christmas, your children have their lives too and sometimes you can’t be a part of it. And so, as it goes,
grab the holidays you get with them, and soak up those memories.  None of those moments will last forever. And reality is too many of us are really not a part of a Norman Rockwell picture family. Jesus wasn’t either and He is the origin of Christmas, the real celebration.


Friends are chosen family too.  Find your circle of love to
celebrate Christmas with and reminisce about past holiday celebrations.  Take what God has given you, embrace it and make the most of all you have.  Jesus was not one that lived His life wishing for more though he was quite poor. He lived with faith, showing all of us it is possible to live with few riches and yet feel blessed, and rich beyond measure if we live in the light of God’s goodness.   Video of some of my Christmas moments